Summer Strawberry Season

I love the summer because it’s strawberry season.  And I love strawberry season because it means I get to pick the sweetest, most delicious strawberries right off the plant and throw them directly into my mouth.     It’s hard for me to save the strawberries to make it downstairs because I am often found looking through the strawberries, eating them one at a time exclaiming “These are so good! Try one!”.  Matthew doesn’t like strawberries, he’s weird, right?  If you’ve ever grown your own strawberries then you know nothing can beat them – they are hands down the most sweetest, full of flavor strawberries ever.  Every summer I get so excited, I just can’t help it.  Strawberries – yay!

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And I have to say it feels a bit wrong for me to do anything with our homegrown strawberries but eat them raw.  I mean they are just so perfect and juicy and sweet, they don’t need anything else.   Isn’t a bowl of strawberries such a delicious snack? Or on top of my cinnamon cereal in the morning?  

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I’ve lost track of how many strawberry plants we have.    When the garden first started, we only had a few plants and they grew ok, but they were kinda small (picture above).  I did some investigating and I learned that strawberry plants last multiple years, each year growing larger berries.  So if you have new plants and your berries are on the small side, don’t give up!  Big berries are on it’s way!

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Because with some love and care, eventually your plant will start producing bigger, beautiful berries!  That’s alot of B’s.

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Earlier this season I decided we didn’t have enough strawberries so we bought some more buckets.  I did a Gardenieres video on how to make strawberry buckets so when it goes live I will be sure to post it! 

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And then we had more strawberry plants!

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When you start to notice the first flowers on the strawberry plant, you should smile.  This means these flowers will soon turn into strawberries.

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You’ll look one day and notice the flowers turned into green berries…

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Then they slowly turn colors..

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Until they’re strawberry bright red.  That should be a official Crayola name.

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When our berries are bright red, then I know it’s time to pick.   You’ll want to keep a eye on them because they change colors quick and if you don’t pick them, they will go brown. That would be tragic. 

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And we can’t let that happen because we need this sweet strawberry in our life. 

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I love the adventure of finding the strawberries.  Sometimes they hide out in between buckets, sometimes they hide under leaves.    Strawberries, don’t hide from me.

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If  I don’t eat them all on the roof, when I bring them downstairs I pat them a little bit with a paper towel.  This makes sure it gets any water off on them in case it rained, or because I squirted the hose a little too high.   I do not wash them.  

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Then I throw them in a mason jar and put them in the refrigerator.

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This is hands down the best way I ever found to keep fresh strawberries.. well, fresh.  They can stay in the mason jar for about 10 days until they start to turn mushy.  But they never last that long.

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Even after a week, you will open up your mason jar and the strawberries will still be crisp.

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When I take them out of the jar to eat, then I wash them…

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And then I immediately eat them.  

 

Do you love strawberries? Are you growing any? 

53 Comments

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  • We are so lucky down under that generally we get strawberries for a reasonable price even in winter (touchwood!) so I never have to be without my favourite berry! Undoubtedly they are the juiciest and most delicious, your photos are so brilliant! πŸ™‚

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • Thanks for stopping by Choc Chip Uru! I wish I could grow them year round, I need that juicy taste when I see snow on the ground!

  • Just a tip for new strawbery growers – plants produce best on 2nd and 3rd year but after 3 years should be removed as they deteorate fast. Keep runners from current plants and replace old ones and next year they’ll produce berries. They can’t be crowded and need a lot of food (compost) to get large berries and full sun and lots of water. But your harvest looks very nice!

    • Agreed, but this year I have some 4th years that are doing great! Love seeing them show their seniority! πŸ™‚ Our berries are crowded, usually 2-3 plants in each bucket, but because they are sub irrigated and get plenty of water, they do very well. So if someone doesn’t have space, don’t be scared to experiment, you might get great results! πŸ™‚

  • I can’t grow any over here Pamela and yours are driving me crazy. They are too gorgeous! The colour and the shine on them is so attractive. You are right. You don’t need anything else to go with it. Just pop it into your mouth whenever you can find one πŸ™‚

    • Aren’t they just the best? I say keep snacking on them.. they’re perfect that way! Congrats with the strawberries!

  • I’m jealous! I’m having a really hard time finding good strawberries this year! I need to grow my own once we get the room for it!

  • I tried planting a strawberry tree at my sister’s. Unfortunately, we didn’t harvest much since it didn’t get a lot of sunlight. I bet home grown strawberries taste amazing! And they’re so cute too! How can someone not like strawberries?! πŸ˜‰

  • I WANT!!!

    I am growing some, but they didn’t fruit last year. I’m hoping they do this year though. Two years ago I went strawberry picking (I missed it last year because I was busy buying and moving into a new house) and got SO MANY fruits, because I just couldn’t leave those ones tucked in the back on the plant, knowing that no one was coming behind me and they would rot and that would be tragic.

    So, I made about 4 dozen quarts of strawberry jam and ate more berries than I can even explain. I was not sick of them and don’t think I ever could be. Best fruit ever.

    • I love your comments towards feelings for plants. I feel like we are plant soul sisters. Strawberry jam sounds pretty perfect right about now!

  • Amazing, your strawberries are beautiful. Can’t wait to read about your container strawberry garden, brilliant!! Never knew about the mason jar but will try that.

  • Oh my, talk about gorgeous looking strawberries πŸ™‚ Definitely one of my fave summer fruits! Wow, great storage tips too Pamela, thanks so much for sharing πŸ™‚

  • I and a friend of mine at work are already planning to put in some fall crops in containers to include strawberry plants if we can find them. I may transplant my new plants from the garden into containers like yours because the ones in the ground are struggling. When do you think the video on how to do this will be available….I showed some people your website and we all think you’re brilliant!! seriously BRILLIANT…..What do you do with the perennials like strawberries in the winter?

    • Aw, thanks so much Laurie! I’m hoping it will become available in the next few weeks, but if you have questions before then, ask away and I will help out! The great thing about strawberries is that if your plants have any runners, you can transplant them into their own plants too. So 4 strawberry plants can quickly double that year if you plant some runners! We did that last year with runners and it worked out good.

      In the winter we don’t protect our strawberries much, sort of treat them as if they were in the wild. If are worried about them though, cover them up with mulch or hay. You will want to remove this right before spring time so they can grow. πŸ™‚

    • I don’t do anything, I just let them be. I don’t even cover them up through snow… just let them run loose like in the wild. And every spring they bounce back! If you are growing in the ground (or even in buckets on a roof) you can cover them up with mulch/hay to protect them.

    • Thanks Kelly! I would share with you if you were closer! Have you tried using mulch/hay to protect them through the winter?

  • Strawberries are such a beautiful fruit, I’m not growing any, but I’d like to in the future. And I’m definitely going to utilize your mason jar tip, I bet it pretties up the fridge a bit too!

  • Ok.. dont know if you already have a post about this but what is that pipe for in the middle of the bucket?? I have a raised bed, but the summer is not good for us in Miami.. everything dies out.. I just think its tooo hot… Water all the time but nothing…

    • The pipe is the feed tube where the water goes in. The buckets are sub irrigated which means you water from the top and it goes down into a reservoir where it waters itself. By watering itself at the bottom, it gets the roots good and wet and also knows when too much water is too much. If you think it’s too hot, these might be a great idea for you because with sub irrigated containers you know if it has too much water, or too little water. Our garden is on a reflective rooftop where it burns in the summer, and these work great for us. I will be posting a video soon enough that walks through how to build one and all the supplies. πŸ™‚

    • I love some yummy frozen strawberries! I do that sometimes with store bought ones… but with fresh homegrown, there never seems to be any left! πŸ˜›

  • I also have a lot of strawberries plants! You do too, I see! lovely plants & lovely buckets too! I plant mine in my garden in good soil.
    Sometimes, the birds are earlier to the strawberries then me!

  • Beautiful photos! And just one of the many reasons I can’t wait to own a home with a little tiny bit of gardening space… at least in the form of a patio or a roof πŸ™‚

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